It is fitting that the journey of such a humble man began in unassuming surroundings. Glasgow. Fordneuk Street. Twenty two years ago. This was the place and a moment a hero was indoctrinated into the fold of Scottish boxing.

Ricky Burns was just 12-years-old when he first bowed his head to slalom under a rope to stand in that ring. At that point, only a few dozen or so pairs of eyes surely would have been on this unknown young school boy from Coatbridge.

Just three miles along the Clyde tonight, 8000 will be locked on to him inside the SSE Hydro in what is now the biggest fight of his career as he goes up against Julius Indongo in a super-lightweight unification clash.

Evening Times: 07/09/13 WBO LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP
RICKY BURNS (SCO) v RAYMUNDO BELTRAN (MEX)
SECC - GLASGOW
Ricky Burns enters the ring ahead of his title defence (58422577)

“I can remember my first fight. It was in the gym at Fordneuk Street in Glasgow. It was my very first. I was only 12,” recalls Burns.

“I think I only got a medal. It meant the world to me at the time, 100 per cent. I think I stopped the boy in the second round. I was over the moon.

“I had so many amateur fights and that many trophies. My brothers used to fight as well so they have probably been put up the loft somewhere.

“I just wanted to do something I enjoyed. When I left school I was a mechanic but as soon as I was qualified I sat down with my mum and dad who agreed it was okay for me to pack my job in and concentrate on boxing.

“The amount of years I’ve been boxing for and how hard we train I still enjoy it. That’s all I set out to do.”

Dozens if not hundreds of trinkets, trophies and belts have been garnered along the way. Hundreds if not thousands of contests won to get Burns to where he will stand tonight with the roar of his own kind behind him. Urging him to make history.

Already a three-weight world champion, there doesn’t seem much to intimidate or unsettle this reserved Lanarkshire man. Having come back from the brink when defeat at Braehead Arena three years ago left a huge cloud over his future, there is no trepidation about trying to become the first Scot to clinch unification of this division. Just excitement.

Evening Times: Ricky Burns performs a workout ahead of his upcoming bout against Kiryl Relikh. Picture: SNS

“When you turn pro you want to win world titles. You then win them. I always said I don’t see the big deal with it,” said Burns ahead of his bout with the unbeaten Namibian.

“I’m just a normal guy, I like to keep myself to myself. Winning the world title fights and now this I try and box that and put it to one side. In my eyes this is just another fight.

“I’ve trained for it exactly the same way I’ve done for any other fight. For me there is no difference, I just want to get out there.

“These big fights and unifications have been spoken at super feather, lightweight and now we are a couple of days away. There were a few fights offered to me but when the unification was offered to me it was always top of my list.”

Whenever you speak to Burns, there is not even a faint whiff of showbizz about him. For someone steadfast, clinical and intuitive with a pair of boxing gloves on, the 34-year-old remains perplexed at the fuss made around him.

Evening Times: 13/04/17. MARRIOT HOTEL - GLASGOW. Ricky Burns at today's press conference.

“Maybe when I’m finished,” he joked. “See sometimes when you get into the venue and you are sitting in the changing room, someone will open the door. You’ll go out to have a wee look and you can just hear them all singing. You just think ‘listen to them’.

“That makes you sit up. When you walk out in it then obviously it does give you a big lift but as soon as I get in the ring I just need to try and block it all out. You have enough pressure on yourself going into a fight. I just want to concentrate on my opponent.”

He probably has a point.

While Indongo will not be well known to the thousands who I’m sure will be perfectly sober in the SSE Hydro this evening, the undefeated 34-year-old has an air of authority about him. In more ways than one.

“He is a policeman,” explains promotor Nestor Tobias, who was involved in Burns’ win over Paulus Moses at Braehead back in 2012.

Burns is an accomplished fighter but we are ready for 12 rounds, for anything.

You have to treat him as a tough guy and a very good boxer so this is not going to be a walk in the park. That’s why we have worked very hard to face a very disciplined guy. But on Saturday he is going to meet another very good boxer in Julius Indongo.

“Julius is still a sweet 16 boy. Age is just a number. He’s strong and very fast with good feet and he is ready for this fight.”